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Monday, October 25, 2010

Bernard Sumner: Didn't Know What Love Was

New Order arose from the ashes of Joy Division, one of the most influencial bands in the alternative music scene in the late 70's and early 80's. Joy Division were Ian Curtis, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, and Stephen Morris, four young men from Manchester, England. Joy Division drew attention to themselves with the release of their first full-length album, Unknown Pleasures, in 1979. The music they played was a sign of the times: angst-ridden, moody, enchanting, haunting.

New Order was known as the quitessential singles band of the 80's, releasing songs that weren't on any albums, or at least remixing them from the albums. In 1987, these singles (many of them long out of print and difficult to find) were collected on the double-album "Substance". Many of these songs topped the 5 and 6 minute mark, with a few going beyond that. It was with the release of "Substance" that New Order gained even greater worldwide recognition. Many argue that New Order could have been bigger if only they did things differently. They didn't splash their faces all over their album covers, they rarely even put their own names on their record sleeves. In fact, all of the designing of their record sleeves, from their days as Joy Division up to the present, has been left up to Peter Saville, a graphic designer who has sometimes been referred to as the fifth band member.

New Order identified themselves as New Order, not as Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook and Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert. No one personality stood out from the others. They were the type of people who could walk out onto the floor after playing a concert and would barely be recognized. Also, remaining on an independent record label, Factory Communications, Ltd., probably didn't help either.

click any track below to listen

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